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"I didn't want to be famous. I just wanted to earn enough money to have a nice life and enjoy acting."

- David McCallum

Of the three original stars of The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964), McCallum is the only one who never appeared on the spin-off series The Girl from U.N.C.L.E. (1966).

McCallum has played the same character (Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard) in three different series: JAG (1995), NCIS (2003) and NCIS: New Orleans (2014).

David Keith McCallum, Jr. (born September 19th 1933) is a Scottish actor and musician. He is best known for his roles as Illya Kuryakin, a Russian secret agent, in the television series The Man from U.N.C.L.E. (1964-68), as interdimensional operative Steel in Sapphire & Steel, and for his current role as NCIS Medical Examiner, Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard in the series NCIS (right).

McCallum was born in Glasgow, Scotland, the second of two sons of Dorothy Dorman, a cellist, and orchestral leader David McCallum, Sr. When he was 10, his family moved to London for his father to lead the London Philharmonic Orchestra. Early in World War II, he was evacuated to Scotland, where he lived with his mother at Gartocharn by Loch Lomond.

McCallum won a scholarship to University College School, a boys' independent school in Hampstead, London, where, encouraged by his parents to prepare for a career in music, he played the oboe. Involved in local amateur drama, at age 17, he appeared as Oberon in an open-air production of A Midsummer Night's Dream with the Play and Pageant Union.

McCallum left school at age 18 and, following military service with the Royal West African Frontier Force, attended the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London, where Joan Collins was a classmate and in 1951, McCallum became Assistant Stage Manager of the Glyndebourne Opera Company.

McCallum began his acting career doing boy voices for BBC Radio in 1947 and began taking bit-parts in British films from the late 1950s, and his first acting role was in Whom the Gods Love, Die Young playing a doomed royal. A James Dean-themed photograph of McCallum caught the attention of the Rank Organisation, who signed him in 1956.

Early roles included a juvenile delinquent in Violent Playground (1957), an outlaw in Robbery Under Arms (1957) and as junior RMS Titanic radio operator Harold Bride in A Night to Remember (1958). His first American film was Freud the Secret Passion (1962), directed by John Huston, which was shortly followed by a role in Peter Ustinov's Billy Budd. McCallum played Lt. Cmdr. Eric Ashley-Pitt "Dispersal" in The Great Escape which was released in 1963. He took the role of Judas Iscariot in 1965's The Greatest Story Ever Told. Notable pre-U.N.C.L.E. television roles included two appearances on The Outer Limits and a guest appearance on Perry Mason in 1964 as defendant Phillipe Bertain in "The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman."

The Man from U.N.C.L.E, originally intended as a vehicle for Robert Vaughn, made McCallum into a sex symbol, his Beatle-style blond haircut providing a trendy contrast with Vaughn's traditional appearance. McCallum's role as the mysterious Russian agent Illya Kuryakin was originally conceived as a peripheral one. However, McCallum took the opportunity to construct a complex character whose appeal rested largely in what was shadowy and enigmatic about him. Kuryakin's popularity with the audience and Vaughn's and McCallum's on-screen chemistry were quickly recognised by the producers and McCallum was elevated to co-star status.

Although the show aired at the height of the Cold War, McCallum's Russian alter-ego became a pop culture phenomenon. The actor was inundated with fan letters and a Beatles-like frenzy followed him everywhere he went. While playing Kuryakin, McCallum received more fan mail than any other actor in MGM's history. Hero worship even led to a record, Love Ya, Illya, performed by Alma Cogan under the name Angela and the Fans, which was a pirate radio hit in Britain in 1966.

McCallum received two Emmy nominations in the course of the show's four-year run (1964-68) for playing the intellectual and introverted secret agent.

McCallum reprised the role of Kuryakin in a 1983 TV movie, The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair. In 1986 McCallum reunited with Robert Vaughn again on an episode of The A-Team entitled The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair, complete with "chapter titles", the word "affair" in the title, the phrase, "Open Channel D", and similar scene transitions.

In an interview for a retrospective television special, David McCallum told of a visit to the White House during which, while he was being escorted to meet the U.S. President, a Secret Service agent told him, "You're the reason I got this job."

McCallum never quite repeated the popular success he had gained as Kuryakin until NCIS, though he did become a familiar face on British television in such shows as Colditz (1972-74), Kidnapped (1978) and in ITV's science-fiction series Sapphire & Steel (1979-82) opposite Joanna Lumley of The New Avengers. McCallum also starred with another TV Avenger, Diana Rigg (Emma Peel) in the 1989 TV mini-series Mother Love.

In 1975, he played the title character in a short-lived U.S. version of The Invisible Man.

McCallum appeared on stage in Australia in Run for Your Wife (1987-88), and the production toured the country. Other members of the cast were Jack Smethurst, Eric Sykes and Katy Manning. Returning to television in 1991 and 1992, McCallum played gambler John Grey, one of the principal characters in the series Trainer.

In the 1990s, McCallum guest-starred in two U.S. television series. In Season 1 of seaQuest DSV, he appeared as the law-enforcement officer Frank Cobb of the fictional Broken Ridge of the Ausland Confederation, an underwater mining camp off the coast of Australia by the Great Barrier Reef; he also had a guest star role in one episode of Babylon 5.

McCallum narrated the acclaimed documentaries Titanic: Death of a Dream and Titanic: The Legend Lives On for A&E in 1994. This was the second project about the Titanic on which he had worked: the first was the 1958 film A Night to Remember, in which he had had a small role.

In the same year, McCallum hosted and narrated the TV special Ancient Prophecies. This special, which was followed soon after by three others, told of people and places historically associated with foretelling the end of the world and the beginnings of new eras for mankind.

Since 2003, McCallum has starred in the CBS television series NCIS as Dr. Donald "Ducky" Mallard (pictured far right with NCIS cast), the team's chief Medical Examiner and one of the show's most popular characters. In one episode, NCIS agent Leroy Jethro Gibbs (Mark Harmon) is asked, "What did Ducky look like when he was younger?" Gibbs response: "Illya Kuryakin."

According to the behind-the-scenes feature on the 2006 DVD of NCIS season 1, McCallum became an expert in forensics to play Mallard, including appearing at Medical Examiner conventions. In the feature, Bellisario says that McCallum's knowledge became so vast that at the time of the interview he was considering making him a technical advisor on the show. In late April, 2012 it was announced that McCallum had reached agreement on a two-year contract extension with CBS-TV. The move means he would remain an NCIS regular past his eightieth birthday.

In the 1960s, McCallum recorded four albums for Capitol Records with music producer David Axelrod: Music... A Part Of Me (1966), Music... A Bit More Of Me (1966), Music... It's Happening Now! (1967), and McCallum (1968). The best known of his pieces today is "The Edge," which is one of the most sampled pieces in Hip-Hop, including Dr. Dre as the intro and riff to the track "The Next Episode", "M.I.A" by Missin' Linx, and "No Regrets" by Masta Ace.

McCallum did not sing on most of thr tracks on these records, as many television stars of the 1960s did when offered recording contracts. As a classically trained musician, he conceived a blend of oboe, English horn, and strings with guitar and drums, and presented instrumental interpretations of hits of the day. The official arranger on the albums was H. B. Barnum. However, McCallum conducted, and contributed several original compositions of his own, over the course of four LPs.

McCallum did sing on the tracks, "Communication", "House On Breckenridge Lane", "In The Garden, Under The Tree" (the theme song from the movie Three Bites Of The Apple), and "My Carousel". The single release of "Communication" reached No. 32 in the UK Singles Chart in April 1966.

McCallum was first married to actress Jill Ireland (1956-67) and she quest starred three times on The Man From U.N.C.L.E. (pictured right with McCallum in an U.N.C.L.E. publicity photo).

In 1963, McCallum introduced Ireland to Charles Bronson when both were filming The Great Escape. She subsequently left McCallum and married Bronson in 1968.

McCallum and Ireland had three sons: Paul, Jason (an adopted son who died from an accidental drug overdose in 1989), and Val (short for Valentine). Val McCallum is a successful guitar player, currently playing with Jackson Browne and a member of the faux county band, Jackshit).

McCallum has been married to Katherine Carpenter since 1967. They have a son, Peter, and a daughter, Sophie. David and Katherine are active with charitable organizations that support the United States Marine Corps: Katherine's father was a Marine who served in the Battle of Iwo Jima, and her brother lost his life in the Vietnam War.

    Selected David McCallum TVography

The A-Team
- The Say U.N.C.L.E. Affair (1986)

Alfred Hitchcock Presents
- Murder Party (1988)

Armchair Theatre
- On the Spot (1960)
- The Shadow of the Ruthless (1959)

As the World Turns
- Maurice Vermeil (1983)

Babylon 5
- Infection (1994)

Batman: The Brave and the Bold
- Day of the Dark Knight! (voice 2009)

Batman: Gotham Knight
- as Alfred Pennyworth (voice 2008)

BBC Sunday-Night Play
- Twentieth Century Theatre: The Vortex (1960)

BBC Sunday-Night Theatre
- Crime Passionnel (1959)
- Television World Theatre: Amphyitron 23 (1958)

Ben 10: Alien Force
- Time Heals (voice 2010)
- War of the Worlds: Part 1 and 2 (voice 2009)
- Paradox (voice 2008)

Ben 10: Omniverse
- And Then There Was Ben (voice 2014)
- And Then There Were None (voice 2014)
- Ben Again (voice 2013)

Ben 10: Ultimate Alien
- Ben 10,000 Returns (2011)
- The Forge of Creation (2010)
- Ultimate Aggregor (2010)

Bert D'Angelo/Superstar
- A Noise in the Streets (1976)

- The Belles of St. Godwalds (1990)

Cluedo (as Prof. Plum)
- The Bolivian Connection (1991)
- A Traveller's Tale (1991)
- Charity Begins at Home (1991)
- Fatal Distraction (1991)
- A Deadly Deal (1991)
- The Best Insurance (1991)

- series star as Flt. Lt. Simon Carter (26 episodes 1972-1974)

- Lovers and Madmen (2000)

The Education of Max Bickford
- The Pursuit of Happiness (2002)
- The Egg and I (2002)
- The Bad Girl (2002)
- Murder of the First (2002)
- Money Changes Everthing (2002)
- Save the Country (2002)
- A Very Great Man (2001)
- In the Details (2001)
- Herding Cats (2001)

- Episodes #2-6 (1960)

The Eustace Diamonds
- Episodes #1 - 6 (1959)

Father Dowling Mysteries
- The Royal Mystery (1990)

Fox Mystery Theater
- The Corvini Inheritance (1984)

The Great Adventure
- The Siege of Boonesborough (1964)
- Kentucky's Bloody Ground (1964)

Hart to Hart
- Hunted Harts (1983)

- Arms and the Man (1994)

The Invisible Man
- series star as Dr. Daniel Westin (13 episodes 1975-1976)

ITV Play of the Week
- Midnight Sun (1961)
- The Pot Carriers (1960)
- The Skin of Our Teeth (1959)

ITV Television Playhouse
- The Unquiet Spirit (1960)
- Cry Silence (1958)
- The Blood Is Strong (1956)

JAG (as Dr. Donald Mallard)
- Meltdown (2003)
- Ice Queen (2003)

- Things Left Unsaid: Part 1 (2002)

Kidnapped (TV Mini-Series)
- as Alan Breck Stewart (1978)

Knight Errant Limited
- The Silent Heart (1960)

Law & Order
- Past Imperfect (1997)

Lucky Chances (TV Mini-Series)
- as Bernard Dimes (1990)

The Man and the City
- Pipe Me a Loving Tune (1971)

The Man from U.N.C.L.E.
- series star as Illya Kuryakin (104 episodes 1964-1968)

The Master
- Hostages (1984)

Marcus Welby, M.D.
- Just a Little Courage (1972)

- The Billionaire (1987)

- The Feverman (1988)

Mother Love (TV Mini-Series)
- as Alex Vesey (1989)

Mr. & Mrs. Smith
- The Impossible Mission Episode (1996)

Murder, She Wrote
- Deadly Misunderstanding (1990)
- From Russia... with Blood (1989)

NCIS: New Orleans
- Musician Heal Thyself (2014)

NCIS: Naval Criminal Investigative Service
- seriers regular as Dr. Donald Mallard (2003-?)

Night Gallery
- The Phantom Farmhouse (1971)

Norman Corwin Presents
- The Pursuit (1972)
- Crown of Rages (1972)

Our Mutual Friend
- as Eugene Wrayburn (10 episodes 1959)

The Outer Limits
- Feasibility Study (1997)
- The Forms of Things Unknown (1964)
- The Sixth Finger (1963)

Perry Mason
- The Case of the Fifty Millionth Frenchman (1964)

Please Don't Eat the Daisies
- Say UNCLE (as Illya Kuryakin, 1966)

Profiles in Courage
- John Adams (1964)

The Replacements
 as C.A.R. / Canadian Chauffer (voice, 67 episodes 2006-2009)

Sapphire & Steel
- series star as Steel (34 episodes 1979-1982)

- Pilot (Narrator, 1994)

SeaQuest DSV
- SeaWest (1993)

Sex and the City
- Shortcomings (1999)

Sir Francis Drake
- The English Dragon (1961)

Strike Force
- Ice (1982)

Team Knight Rider (as Mobius)
- Legion of Doom (1998)
- Angels in Chains (1998)
- Et Tu Dante (1998)
- The Iron Maiden (1997)
- Inside Traitor (1997)

- Hope (1998)

- as John Grey (23 episodes 1991-1992)

The Travels of Jaimie McPheeters
- The Day of the Search (1964)

VR.5 (as Dr. Joseph Bloom)
- Parallel Lives (1997)
- Sisters (1997)
- Reunion (1995)
- 5D (1995)
- Love and Death (1995)
- Dr. Strangechild (1995)
- Pilot (1995)

Wonder Woman
- as Zeus (voice 2009)

    Selected David McCallum Filmography


Robbery Under Arms

Hell Drivers

These Dangerous Years

The Secret Place

Ill Met by Moonlight (uncredited)


A Night to Remember

Violent Playground


Antigone (TV Movie)


Karolina Rijecka

The Long, the Short and the Tall



Billy Budd

Wuthering Heights (TV Movie)


The Great Escape


The Unknown (TV Movie)


The Greatest Story Ever Told


I Around the World Under the Sea

One Spy Too Many


Three Bites of the Apple

The Karate Killers


Sol Madrid


The File on Devlin (TV Movie)

La cattura

Mosquito Squadron

Teacher, Teacher (TV Movie)


Hauser's Memory (TV Movie)


She Waits (TV Movie)


Screaming Skull (TV Movie)

The Six Million Dollar Man: Wine, Women and War (TV Movie)

Frankenstein: The True Story (TV Movie)


The Kingfisher Caper




King Solomon's Treasure


The Watcher in the Woods


The Return of the Man from U.N.C.L.E.: The Fifteen Years Later Affair (TV Movie)


Those Golden Years (TV Movie)

Behind Enemy Lines (TV Movie)

Terminal Choice


Az aranyifjú (TV Movie)


Freedom Fighter (TV Movie)


The Return of Sam McCloud (TV Movie)

The Man Who Lived at the Ritz (TV Movie)


The Haunting of Morella


Hear My Song


Fatal Inheritance

Dirty Weekend



Shattered Image (TV Movie)


Death Game (TV Movie)


March in Windy City (TV Movie)

Coming Home (TV Movie)


The Titanic Chronicles (Narrator, TV Movie)



Son of Batman (voice)

My Neat Stuff Hall of Fame Look



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